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slashdevnull's page

13 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


"Deaths", or "knocked out and dying"?

I've only been able to run through Life's Bazaar so far, and in that, with a party of only two adventurers (a bard and a rogue, so not even a very combat-oriented team), there were only two times where they really were at risk of actually dying. It's been interesting to see how a couple of non-combat characters (played by traditionally combat-oriented players) has done an exceptional job of switching gears and approaching each sceanrio as an exercise in problem solving rather than a hack n' slash fest. And, even when they have no choice other than to fight (or, perhaps I should say, "especially when they have no choice other than to fight") they've gotten creative with the use of better tactics than simply charging in and going toe-to-toe with the bad guys.

I've found that it was challenging as a DM to run Life's Bazaar for such a small group and keep them alive enough to finish the adventure, but do-able.

Now, let's see how they (and I) do as we move on to the other adventures... ;)

What's the old saying? "There's no such thing as bad publicity."

With all of the talk surrounding this column, unless every single person stating their opinion on Wil Save is that is should be axed, I think it has as much of a future as Paizo and Wil want it to have.

This thread reminds me of the scene in Howard Stern's movie where his ratings were shooting up. Supposedly, people who loved him listened to him, and people who hated him... listened to him as well. When polled, both groups gave the same reason for listening: They wanted to know what he'd say next. It seems to me that Wil's getting the same treatment, from fans and detractors alike: they're reading the back page of the magazine.

(Did I just liken Wil Wheaton to Howard Stern?! I'm not sure which one of them I offended more.) ;)

Personally, I still like the column, and plan on reading it until it gets boring. If it ends up being nothing but talk about gaming with his kids, then it'll bore me quickly. But, for now, like others, it's the first thing I read when I pick up the magazine.

I'm looking forward to more Eberron-specific content. The only thing I didn't like about QwBE was the use of miniatures tiles instead of a "real map". I actually liked the inclusion of the miniatures list, however.

A bit of an epiphany I've had lately regarding running RPGs is that /everything/ is problem/puzzle solving... or, if it isn't, it should be. Standing toe-to-toe with an enemy, trading damage, can be fun, but not for long. I've started taking the approach with my players that every scene is a puzzle waiting to be solved, even if it's solved by good tactical combat maneuvers rather than cunning and intellect.

Traps are described to the players in real terms, rather than just "make a roll to see if you can beat the DC", so that they can describe how they think such a trap might be bypassed. Good thinking on the part of the player eventually leads to bonuses to their rolls. Conversely, if they try to disarm a trap in a way that would obviously set it off, negative modifiers might be applied.

Remember: it's the DM's job to make sure that the players have enough description to turn a D&D game into a session of interactive storytelling, rather than an exercise in rolling dice.

The only way I see inserting a dungeon into Dragon that really works is if there was a solo adventure. Solo adventures are for players, not DMs, right? So they should be published in Dragon?

At the risk of alienating the fine folks at Paizo, I'd prefer that my players _not_ buy Dungeon, since I don't want them reading the adventure material that I may be using (especially Adventure Path material).

Speaking of sticky glue: where do you get the stuff? I'd like to try to get my hands on some to try to temporarily glue maps down on my table. (Sorry for the off-topic nature of this question, but I've been looking all over for the stuff. I figured that a magazine that actually uses it might be able to tell me.)

Back on topic: Why in Dragon? Why not in Dungeon?

Personally, I liked it. For those who didn't, remember: one article is not a trend.

However, I think that we might all start b&#@~ing about it if it turns into nothing more than mushy-feely articles about his kids and only ever so slightly meta-game in nature.

wngdweeler, it sounds like you do need a new group. May Maradin lead you to one, my brother (I also play a dwarf Cleric of Moradin).

griffrat, I've gotten to where I only roll dice in secret if it absolutely has to be done. Damage and to-hit rolls are all up front for the players to see, even if inopportune hits or damage cause problems. From experience on both sides of the DM screen, I've found that the players feel like the DM is cheating (either being a bastard or a wuss) if he rolls behind the screen too often. Especially for hits and damage. Hurting (or even killing) characters is a great way to give them incentive to learn to use better tactics. Besides, death in D&D is hardly the end of a character's career.

I really liked the "Faces of Cauldron" 2-page spread that was done up in one of the issues, as well as the seperate pictures of various individuals in the modules. I make my own cardboard tokens rather than use miniatures in my games, and having good images to work from saves me a lot of time that I can devote to other game prep. A "headshot" of each major NPC would be much appreciated.

Actually, don't "the rules say" something to the effect of "don't let the rules get in the way of telling a good story"? I seem to remember seeing something about that in the first few pages of the DMG... ;)


The "modern" gamer seems to be a min-maxer. To give them a touch of "old school", pretend you're playing like you used to "back in the day". Did you ever play during lunch in jr. high? If so, you told stories with your friends, without the aid of 50 lbs of books.

Another thing: how many players are in your game? If you want to start pushing the ROLEplaying asoect of the game rather than the ROLLplaying mode they sound like they may be in, a good trick is to find a way to split the party, and do a short 1-on-1 with each of them. Or break them into 2-player teams. Either way, put the books away completely and play a session like this, and make them describe what their characters are doing rather than encouraging lots of rules. Still use the dice, but use your godly DM powers to just look at the rolls and say "that succeeded" or whatever.

I'd do this for Paizo for free, if they provided me with the original map (which, as Dadga mentioned, is most likely in layers).

The most useful web enhancement that we could get are copies of the maps from the magazine, but without room numbers, secret doors and rooms, etc. displayed. These could be printed out and used with miniatures. I'm disappointed that the downloadable material is often the exact same thing that I could have scanned or photocopied from the book, which is generally not suitable for showing to the players.

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